Karen A. Beauchemin, Ph. D.

Image Karen A, Beauchemin
Research Scientist, Ruminant Nutrition and Environment (Retired)

Development of nutritional knowledge and technologies for the beef and dairy industries to improve efficiency of production and reduce environmental impact

Current research and/or projects

Development of nutritional knowledge and technologies for the beef and dairy industries to improve efficiency of production and reduce environmental impact

Research and/or project statements

Projects include:

  • Mitigation of enteric methane and other greenhouse gas emissions from ruminants

  • Farm-based life cycle analysis of greenhouse gas emissions from beef and dairy production

  • Improved nitrogen use efficiency of ruminants

  • Improved rumen ecology and fiber utilization

  • Use of feed additives, including exogenous enzymes, yeast and direct fed microbials

  • Reduction of ruminal acidosis in dairy cows and feedlot cattle

  • Physically effective fiber requirements for feedlot cattle and dairy cows

  • Grain digestion and utilization for ruminants

  • Nutritional evaluation of short season corn silage hybrids

Fields of Science

Learn more about my research and how it impacts you by visiting Fields of Science, a campaign featuring 11 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientists from coast to coast.

Professional activities / interests

Research with beef and dairy cattle

National and international advisory role

Mentorship of students and young researchers



Education and awards


B.Sc. (honours), McGill University, Major in Agriculture 1978

M.Sc. Université Laval, Major in Animal Science 1982

Ph.D.(distinction) University of Guelph 1988

Major in Ruminant Nutrition, minors in Gastrointestinal Physiology and Statistics, Supervisor:  Dr. J. G. Buchanan-Smith

Honours and Awards Held

  • B.Sc. awarded with honours, 1978

  • Ph.D. awarded with distinction, 1988
  • Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) award held during Ph.D.      (1983-88)
  • 1st prize for presentation in CSAS Graduate Student Competition, 1987
  • Canadian Society of Animal Science Young Scientist Award, 1994

  • Travel Scholarship, Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, 2005

  • American Dairy Science Association Pioneer Hi-Bred Forage Award, 2005

  • Gold Harvest Award of Excellence, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 2007

  • George B. Caine Foundation Award, Utah State University, 2008

  • Sir Frederick McMaster Fellowship, CSIRO, Australia, 2009 ($28,000 awarded for travel)

  • Canadian Society of Animal Science Excellence in Nutrition and Meat Science Award, 2009

  • American Dairy Science Association, Nutrition Professionals Applied Dairy Nutrition Award, 2010

  • The Bertebos Prize, Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry, 2011

  • Visiting Professorship for Senior International Scientists, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2011-13

  • Canadian Society of Animal Science Fellowship Award, 2014

International experience and/or work

1995-96   Work Transfer (sabbatical), Danish Institute of Animal Sciences, Foulum,  Denmark (12 months)

2005-06   Work Transfer (sabbatical), Department of Primary Industries – Victoria (Elinbank), Australia (12 months)

Advisory Roles - International

-International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): (2017-2019). Invited contributing author to Chapter 10: Emissions from livestock and manure management, 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, Volume 4, Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use. https://www.ipcc-nggip.iges.or.jp/public/2019rf/vol4.html. This IPCC methodology is used by Environment and Climate Change Canada and other countries to produce their national greenhouse gas inventories.

Invited Member of the Committee on Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle, Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources, Division on Earth and Life Studies, National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.  Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle, 8th Revised Edition (2013-16). Committee tasked with revising the NRC publication/model for beef cattle nutrient requirements. Only Canadian member of the 9 person committee. This publication sets the standards for nutrient requirements and is widely considered to be the cornerstone of beef nutrition and is universally used by nutritionists, veterinarians, and feed regulators such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

European Research Council (2016-17; 2018-19). Advanced Grant LS9 “Applied Life Sciences and Non-Medical Biotechnology” Invited Panel Member. The Advanced Grants represent the highest achievement in science within the EU.  The Panel consists of 12 invited international members and receives 60-120 proposals/year to review.  Successful proposals are awarded 2.5 million euros.

SmartCow (www.smartcow.eu): Invited Scientific Advisor to an EU research consortium (14 research partners, 7 EU countries, 2018-2022). Project designed to optimize the use of European research facilities and multi-disciplinary research across countries to promote efficient use of resources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving animal welfare and health.

AnimalChange Consortium (http://www.animalchange.eu): Invited scientific advisor to the EU research consortium (9 million Euros, 30 institutes) with representation from research, industry, and policy makers. The goal of the project is to develop greenhouse gas mitigation and adaptation strategies for livestock production in the EU and partnering developing countries.

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO): (2010-2015) Consultant on a Coordinated Research Project entitled “The use of enzymes, direct-fed microbials and yeast to improve the efficiency of utilizing fibrous feeds in developing countries and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from livestock", of the Animal Production and Health Section, Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture.  Provided advice to participating researchers for 10 research contract holders in developing countries.  

International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): (2009)  Invited member of the 3rd Expert Committee on Data for the IPCC Database on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emission Factors (attended meeting June 24-26, Santiago, Chile). The Emission Factor Database is a public database on GHG emission factors with supporting scientific information maintained by the IPCC National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Program to help the inventory compilers develop better quality national greenhouse gas inventories in a cost-effective way.

Bovine Innovative Greenhouse Gas Solutions (BIGGS) project (2011-13). Invited participant in the Protocol Scientific Adaptation Team, for the Bovine Innovative Greenhouse Gas Solutions (BIGGS) project. The project aims at creating carbon credits generated from various beef and dairy production practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Greenhouse Gasses in Animal Agriculture Conference (www.GGAA2010.org): Banff, Alberta, Oct. 2010, member of the local organizing committee, program committee, and co-editor of the proceedings.  This is the major international conference for environment-livestock interactions Participated on an organization committee to setup the Greenhouse Gases (GHG) in Animal Agriculture Conference held in Banff, Alberta, Canada in October of 2010.  The conference had over 400 delegates from 36 countries, an attendance that attests to the global research effort that is ongoing in this area.

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA): Invited member of the Expert Panel (2007) to explore development of a Coordinated Research Project on straw digestibility, The Animal Production and Health Section, Plant Breeding and Genetics Section, Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture.


Key publications

  1. Terry, S.A., Ribeiro, G.O., Conrad, C.C., Beauchemin, K.A., McAllister, T.A., Gruninger, R.J. (2020). Pretreatment of crop residues by ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX) alters the temporal colonization of feed in the rumen by rumen microbes. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, [online] 96(6), http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/femsec/fiaa074

    2020 - View publication details

  2. Li, C., Beauchemin, K.A., Yang, W. (2020). Feeding diets varying in forage proportion and particle length to lactating dairy cows: I. Effects on ruminal pH and fermentation, microbial protein synthesis, digestibility, and milk production. Journal of Dairy Science (JDS), [online] 103(5), 4340-4354. http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2019-17606

    2020 - View publication details

  3. Zhao, Y.L., Yan, S.M., Beauchemin, K.A., Yang, W.Z. (2020). Feeding diets varying in forage proportion and particle length to lactating dairy cows: II. Effects on duodenal flows and intestinal digestibility of amino acids, 103(5), 4355-4366. http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2019-17607

    2020 - View publication details

  4. Zhang, X.M., Wang, M., Yu, Q., Ma, Z.Y., Beauchemin, K.A., Wang, R., Wen, J.N., Lukuyu, B.A., Tan, Z.L. (2020). Liquid hot water treatment of rice straw enhances anaerobic degradation and inhibits methane production during in vitro ruminal fermentation. Journal of Dairy Science (JDS), [online] 103(5), 4252-4261. http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2019-16904

    2020 - View publication details

  5. Ribeiro, G.O., Gruninger, R.J., Jones, D.R., Beauchemin, K.A., Yang, W.Z., Wang, Y., Abbott, D.W., Tsang, A., McAllister, T.A. (2020). Effect of ammonia fiber expansion-treated wheat straw and a recombinant fibrolytic enzyme on rumen microbiota and fermentation parameters, total tract digestibility, and performance of lambs. Journal of Animal Science, [online] 98(5), http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jas/skaa116

    2020 - View publication details

  6. Tien L. Weber, Xiying Hao, Cole D. Gross, Karen A. Beauchemin and & Scott X. Chang. 2021. Effect of manure from cattle fed 3-nitrooxypropanol on anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions depends on soil type. Agronomy (accepted)

    2020 - View publication details

  7. Lee, C., Kim, S.H., Beauchemin, K., Celi, P., Duval, S. (2020). Short-term eating preference of beef cattle fed high forage or high grain diets supplemented with 3-nitrooxypropanol. Animals, [online] 10(1), http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani10010064

    2020 - View publication details

  8. Zhang, X.M., Medrano, R.F., Wang, M., Beauchemin, K.A., Ma, Z.Y., Wang, R., Wen, J.N., Lukuyu, B.A., Tan, Z.L., He, J.H. (2019). Corn oil supplementation enhances hydrogen use for biohydrogenation, inhibits methanogenesis, and alters fermentation pathways and the microbial community in the rumen of goats. Journal of Animal Science, [online] 97(12), 4999-5008. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jas/skz352

    2019 - View publication details

  9. Terry, S.A., Redman, A.A.P., Ribeiro, G.O., Chaves, A.V., Beauchemin, K.A., Okine, E., McAllister, T.A. (2019). Effect of a pine enhanced biochar on growth performance, carcass quality, and feeding behavior of feedlot steers. Translational Animal Science, [online] 4(2), http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tas/txaa011

    2019 - View publication details

  10. Nasrollahi, S.M., Zali, A., Ghorbani, G.R., Khani, M., Maktabi, H., Beauchemin, K.A. (2019). Effects of increasing diet fermentability on intake, digestion, rumen fermentation, blood metabolites and milk production of heat-stressed dairy cows. Animal, [online] 13(11), 2527-2535. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1751731119001113

    2019 - View publication details

  11. Samsonstuen, S., Åby, B.A., Crosson, P., Beauchemin, K.A., Bonesmo, H., Aass, L. (2019). Farm scale modelling of greenhouse gas emissions from semi-intensive suckler cow beef production. Agricultural Systems, [online] 176 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2019.102670

    2019 - View publication details

  12. Terry, S.A., Ribeiro, G.O., Gruninger, R.J., Chaves, A.V., Beauchemin, K.A., Okine, E., McAllister, T.A. (2019). A Pine Enhanced Biochar Does Not Decrease Enteric CH4 Emissions, but Alters the Rumen Microbiota. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, [online] 6 http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2019.00308

    2019 - View publication details

  13. Stewart, E.K., Beauchemin, K.A., Dai, X., MacAdam, J.W., Christensen, R.G., Villalba, J.J. (2019). Effect of tannin-containing hays on enteric methane emissions and nitrogen partitioning in beef cattle. Journal of Animal Science, [online] 97(8), 3286-3299. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jas/skz206

    2019 - View publication details

  14. Nkemka, V.N., Beauchemin, K.A., Hao, X. (2019). Treatment of feces from beef cattle fed the enteric methane inhibitor 3-nitrooxypropanol. Water Science and Technology, [online] 80(3), 437-447. http://dx.doi.org/10.2166/wst.2019.302

    2019 - View publication details

  15. Kim, S.H., Lee, C., Pechtl, H.A., Hettick, J.M., Campler, M.R., Pairis-Garcia, M.D., Beauchemin, K.A., Celi, P., Duval, S.M. (2019). Effects of 3-nitrooxypropanol on enteric methane production, rumen fermentation, and feeding behavior in beef cattle fed a high-forage or high-grain diet. Journal of Animal Science, [online] 97(7), 2687-2699. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jas/skz140

    2019 - View publication details

  16. Aboagye, I.A., Oba, M., Koenig, K.M., Zhao, G.Y., Beauchemin, K.A. (2019). Use of gallic acid and hydrolyzable tannins to reduce methane emission and nitrogen excretion in beef cattle fed a diet containing alfalfa silage. Journal of Animal Science, [online] 97(5), 2230-2244. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jas/skz101

    2019 - View publication details

  17. Alvarez-Hess, P.S., Moate, P.J., Williams, S.R.O., Jacobs, J.L., Beauchemin, K.A., Durmic, Z., Hannah, M.C., Eckard, R.J. (2019). The effect of diet of the donor cows on in vitro measurements of methane production from wheat and corn incubated in various forage-to-grain ratios. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, [online] 99(7), 3451-3458. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.9563

    2019 - View publication details

  18. Alvarez-Hess, P.S., Williams, S.R.O., Jacobs, J.L., Hannah, M.C., Beauchemin, K.A., Eckard, R.J., Wales, W.J., Morris, G.L., Moate, P.J. (2019). Effect of dietary fat supplementation on methane emissions from dairy cows fed wheat or corn. Journal of Dairy Science (JDS), [online] 102(3), 2714-2723. http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-14721

    2019 - View publication details

  19. Villalba, J.J., Beauchemin, K.A., Gregorini, P., MacAdam, J.W. (2019). Pasture chemoscapes and their ecological services. Translational Animal Science, [online] 3(2), 829-841. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tas/txz003

    2019 - View publication details

  20. He, Z.X., Ribeiro, G.O., Beauchemin, K.A., McAllister, T.A., Yang, W.Z. (2019). Inoculum source and transfer of rumen contents from bison to cattle improved in vitro gas production and feed digestibility, but not the responses to exogenous enzymes supplementation. Animal Feed Science and Technology, [online] 248 37-46. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2019.01.005

    2019 - View publication details

Research facility

5403 1st Avenue South
Lethbridge, AB T1J 4B1


2005-2020 Adjunct Professor, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

2005-2020 Adjunct Professor, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

2017-2020 Adjunct Professor, Graduate Faculty, Utah State University, Logan, UT